Cool temperature forecast for New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim at English Bay

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      This year's Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver is going to be a chilly one.

      The forecast for New Year's Day calls for a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 2° C.

      The mercury will drop to -4° C the previous Sunday night, which won't make the annual dip especially easy in English Bay.

      January 1 marks the 98th annual Polar Bear Swim in the waters near the corner of Denman and Beach Avenue.

      It will take place at 2:30 p.m.

      More than 1,500 people registered for last year's event, with some dressing up in crazy costumes.

      "The Polar Bear Swim is a free community event and a great way to jump into the New Year," park board chair Stuart Mackinnon says on the board's website. "We encourage the thousands of people on the beach to have a wonderful and crazy time, and to leave English Bay beach as pristine as ever when the festivities are over." 

      Those who register are eligible for prizes such as one-month park board Flexipasses and Polar Bear Swim T-shirts.

      Participants and spectators are encouraged to bring cash or food donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

      Check out Alanna Banana's video of the 2017 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim.

      The park board lists the following tips on its website:

      1. If you have a heart problem—be a spectator.

      2. Children must swim and stay with an adult.

      3. Leave your dog at home.

      4. Do not drink—alcohol does not warm you up, it accelerates hypothermia.

      5. Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.

      6. Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.

      7. If you compete in the 100-yard race, meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.

      8. If you're one of the first three swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat, give your name to the lifeguard.

      9. After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or registration table.

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